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Sarasota teen retrieves Epiphany cross

3:26 PM, Jan 6, 2014   |    comments
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Tarpon Springs, Florida -- Congratulations are in order for 18-year-old Peter Smith of Sarasota who retrieved the 108th Epiphany cross Monday afternoon.

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The Greek Orthodox community in Tarpon Springs celebrates the 108th Epiphany with the annual Cross Dive and Festival.

It all starts this morning with services at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral.

Photo Gallery: 2012 Epiphany Celebration pictures
More pictures: 2011 Epiphany Celebration
See Also: The Epiphany Cross tradition

Thousands will take part in a procession to "Spring Bayou" where 45 young men will dive into the water, hoping to retrieve the white cross thrown in by the archbishop.

The cross dive is followed by the massive epiphany festival at the Saint Nicholas Community Center with food, drink, live music and dancing.

Schedule of Events according to epiphanycity.org:

8:00 a.m. Orthos and Divine Liturgy at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral

12:00 p.m. Blessing of the waters celebrated by Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdicese of America

12:30 p.m. Traditional litany procession with clergy, altar servers, visiting dignitaries, school children dressed in traditional Greek costumes, bands, choir, teen divers and the dove bearer with a white dove symbolizing the Holy Spirit.  The dove bearer will release the dove and the Greek Orthodox male youths will dive for the Epiphany cross.

12:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Epiphany Glendi with food, drink, live music and dancing, Free admission

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